Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Nepal

पर्यटन बजार१२ असार २०७८, शनिबार मा प्रकाशित

Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Nepal

June 26,2021 Nepal is a surprisingly diverse country that attracts visitors for many reasons. Some are lured by the call of the mountains and seeking to climb or trek in the Himalayas, others are intrigued by the culture and the famous city of Kathmandu, and yet others come hoping to find some sort of spiritual awakening. Nepal can be an adrenaline adventure, a cultural eye opener, a life-changing experience, or all of the above.

To find the best places to visit, have a read through our list of the top attractions in Nepal.

Kathmandu

Kathmandu, the capital and largest city in Nepal, is like no other city in the world. The decaying buildings in the heart of the city are a stark contrast to the lively atmosphere that permeates the streets. The smell of incense wafts from stores while street sellers push their goods, and people go about their daily lives, all against a backdrop of historic temples and carved statues.

For several hundred years, Kathmandu was one of three rival royal cities, along with Bhaktapur and Patan. Situated in close proximity to each other, today these three almost run together.

The highlight of Kathmandu has long been Durbar Square, the largest of the palace squares in the three royal cities and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Temples and monuments of varying shapes, sizes, styles, and faiths can be found here.

Kathmandu’s Durbar Square was severely damaged in the 2015 earthquake, with many buildings destroyed beyond repair, but it still remains a special place to visit.

Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur, the third of the “Royal Cities,” lies on the old trade route to Tibet, just outside of Kathmandu. For Bhaktapur, the trade route was both an arterial link and major source of wealth. Its relative remoteness at the time allowed the city to develop independently and in ways which distinguish it from the other two cities.

In contrast to Patan and Kathmandu, the population of Bhaktapur is primarily Hindu. The best place from which to begin a tour of the city is Durbar Square, where in addition to the royal palace, several temples are also situated. The whole area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Many of the buildings in Durbar Square in Bhaktapur were damaged in the 2015 earthquake, the main temples are close to being repaired fully, but progress on much of the surrounding area has not proceeded as swiftly.

Boudhanath Stupa (Bodhnath)

The Bodhanath Stupa, just outside Kathmandu, is one of the largest stupas of its kind in the world and dates to some time around the 6th century, possibly even earlier. Like Bhaktapur, it lies on the old trade route to Tibet and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The stupa itself is a symbol of enlightenment but at Boudhanath the symbolism is particularly clear. Each different shape represents one of the five elements, earth, water, fire, air, and sphere, which are also the attributes of the five Buddhas. Brought together in the form of the stupa, their unity reflects in abstract fashion the structure of the universe itself.

Pokhara

Set at the base of the foothills and surrounded by some of the highest mountains in the world – Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, and Annapurna I – Pokhara is one of Nepal’s most scenic cities. For trekkers, Pokhara is the gateway to the Himalayas and the starting point for treks to Jomsom and the Annapurna region. It’s also a wonderful spot to relax for a bit, either before or after a hiking trip.

By population, it is the second largest city in Nepal after Kathmandu but still does not feel like a big city. As you travel from Kathmandu, 200 kilometers to the east, you’ll notice the much cleaner air and pleasant climate almost immediately. Lake Phewa, with its cluster of lakeside hotels, restaurants, and shops, is ideal for those looking for a little relaxation.

Pokhara

Set at the base of the foothills and surrounded by some of the highest mountains in the world – Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, and Annapurna I – Pokhara is one of Nepal’s most scenic cities. For trekkers, Pokhara is the gateway to the Himalayas and the starting point for treks to Jomsom and the Annapurna region. It’s also a wonderful spot to relax for a bit, either before or after a hiking trip.

By population, it is the second largest city in Nepal after Kathmandu but still does not feel like a big city. As you travel from Kathmandu, 200 kilometers to the east, you’ll notice the much cleaner air and pleasant climate almost immediately. Lake Phewa, with its cluster of lakeside hotels, restaurants, and shops, is ideal for those looking for a little relaxation.

Chitwan National Park

Chitwan National Park is the place to come to experience a different side of Nepal. This is a wonderful place for wildlife viewing and it has a safari-type atmosphere. At an altitude of only 100 meters in some areas, much lower than Kathmandu at 1,400 meters, Chitwan has a tropical monsoon climate, quite different than what you’d expect to find in Nepal.

Travelers come here to see wildlife. The park is home to rhinos, Bengal tigers, leopards, sloth bears, gaur (buffalo), deer, and many other critters. Freshwater dolphins (gangetic) and crocodiles inhabit the rivers and streams but are rarely seen. More than 500 species of birds make Chitwan a paradise for ornithologists. Tours from the lodges take you out into the park, either on foot, or more often, on elephants for close-up views of the animals.

Chitwan lies southwest of Kathmandu close to the Indian frontier and is included in the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage sites.

The best time to visit Chitwan is from October to February. 

Trekking in the Langtang Region

The Langtang Region, home to Langtang National Park, is an incredible area for hiking, with high passes, extensive views, old monasteries, and beautiful mountain scenery. Rhododendron forests bloom during the spring hiking season adding color to the vistas.

The region, home to the Sherpa people, is less developed than some of the other popular trekking areas in Nepal and generally less busy on the trails, despite its close proximity to Kathmandu. Villages with guesthouses and food can be found along the route, although somewhat more spread out than in other trekking regions. Some villages in this area were completely devasted by the 2015 earthquake.

This area can be reached easily from Kathmandu by jeep in seven to eight hours. On a clear day, the peak of Langtang Lirung (7,245 meters), which dominates the surrounding area of the same name, is visible from Kathmandu.

Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple)

Set on a hilltop to the west of Kathmandu, Swayambhunath is the second most important shrine in the Kathmandu Valley after Boudhanath. Due to the resident monkeys that inhabit parts of the temple, it is more affectionately known as the Monkey Temple.

The Swayambhu Stupa, painted with the eyes of the omnipresent god, forms the centerpiece of the temple complex. It was originally a prehistoric cult site, but the temple complex dates to the 5th century. Swayambhu plays a major part in the lives of the Vajrayana Buddhists of Northern Nepal and Tibet, but especially of the Newari Buddhists of the Kathmandu Valley.

Everest & the Trek to Base Camp

The summit of Mount Everest, the highest mountain on earth, reaches 8,848 meters (29,028 feet) high. Trekking in the Mount Everest area became popular following the now legendary first ascent of the peak in 1953 by Edmund Hillary from New Zealand and the Sherpa Tensing Norgay.

Since that time, many more have summited the mountain, but far more trek the route to Everest Base Camp simply for a glimpse of the peak far above. In recent years the mountain has seen its fair share of tragedy and drama. The 2015 earthquake and previous avalanches, along with disputes between climbers on the mountain, have left their mark on Everest trekking and climbing.

Lumbini

Lumbini is famous for being the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama, the historic Buddha, known as Buddha Shakyamuni. Situated off the main tourist track, almost 250 kilometers from Kathmandu, Lumbini is a worthwhile detour on the route from Pokhara to the Chitwan National Park.

In this pilgrimage town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, there is a feeling of tranquility. Most of the visitors are Buddhist pilgrims from around the world, retracing Buddha’s footsteps through the stations of his life. The Maya Devi Temple, dedicated to Buddha’s mother, is believed to be the spot where Buddha was born. It contains an ancient stone relief from the 2nd century AD depicting Buddha’s birth.

Helambu Trek

The Helambu region is a popular trekking area, particularly with trekking companies offering guided hikes. This is largely because it is close to Kathmandu, does not reach astoundingly high elevations, and offers some beautiful mountain scenery.

For many of these same reasons, it is often touted by tour groups as being easy. However, many hikers who come here on tours find it is more demanding than they feel they were led to believe and more difficult than they anticipate.

Trekking in the Himalayas is always demanding, and although it is not as high as other treks, it is still a physically demanding hike and trekkers should be in good physical condition. With that in mind, this is a beautiful trek and well worth the effort.

White Water Rafting

With towering mountains and rushing rivers Nepal is an excellent place for white water rafting. Several options are available depending on how much time you want to spend on the river.

After your day of rafting, you can either go back to Kathmandu or on to Chitwan or Pokhara.

If you are looking to spend more time on the water and interested in more serious rapids, one of the most popular places to go is the Bhote Kosi River. Bhote Koshi river rafting trips take two days and are intense. You’ll find yourself in the white water shortly after put in, and along the way, you’ll blast through class IV and V rapids. The trip is 25 kilometers long and includes camping on the riverbank for one night. Meals are included.

Other multiday trips to consider are on the Tamur, Karnali, Arun, and Bheri rivers.


















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